Flipkart invites Amazon, Microsoft to fight a battle bigger than business rivalry; here’s what it is for

By: | Published: June 15, 2017 5:05 PM

E-commerce major Flipkart has invited rival tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft for its Gridlock Hackathon.

Flipkart has invited companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Infosys, and Wipro among others. (Image: Reuters)

E-commerce major Flipkart has invited rival tech companies like Amazon and Microsoft for its Gridlock Hackathon. The Hackathon is an initiative of Flipkart where it plans on crowdsourcing innovative and implementable solutions to road traffic issues in Bengaluru. The e-commerce giant has called several companies to participate in this programme. The invite has gone to companies such as Amazon, Microsoft R&D India, Wipro, Philips Innovation Campus, Accel, Infosys, Accenture India, Cisco India, Sasken, VMWare and ITC Infotech.

Meanwhile, Flipkart’s Chief Technology Officer Ravi Garikipati has sent invites to these companies which include IT big shots as well as Venture Capital firms. FE.com reviewed a copy of the invite that has been shared with the companies. In the email, Garikipatti writes, “I’m writing to invite you and your in-house engineering talent to participate in Gridlock Hackathon. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us all to be a part of the solution for a change. [Company name] has as much stake in Bengaluru’s prosperity as any of us, and your encouragement will allow some outstanding ideas from your organisation to see the light of day.”

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The letter identifies Bengaluru as a ‘jewel among major Indian cities’, and calling out the fact that each year the city witnesses a huge influx of students and professions, and that, according to Flipkart has “choked the city with chaotic traffic, to the extent that the gridlock traffic is sometimes used to describe this great city in some quarters.”

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Termed “Gridlock Hackathon,” the initiative marks the start of the “Month of Innovation” at Flipkart, a part of its 10th-year-anniversary celebrations, the company said. The contest will run from June 7, 2017, until June 21, 2017, and is open for technology-centric solutions, as well as those that partially leverage technology through out-of-the-box thinking, it said in a release. The hackathon would initially run online and participants can submit tech or partially-tech solutions for macro problems like Bengaluru’s overall traffic, or traffic snarls in specific areas.

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